Lawyers representing a group of women and children at the Berks County Residential Center (BCRC) are urging Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Kathleen Kane to shut the facility down due to unfair treatment of its detainees. The Center is one of only a handful of facilities that house families who are undergoing immigration proceedings. Since last summer, there has been a notable increase in illegal migration by unaccompanied minors.
Advocates for the detained report that the facility is more like a prison, and that the women and children there are not allowed to leave. Specifically, individuals are under constant supervision, the medical needs of residents are poorly handled, there are allegations of sexual abuse, and asylum seekers are often detained for more than a year. Moreover, reports indicate that the facility is operating under a license meant for housing juvenile delinquents, despite the fact that none of the children within the facility are delinquent.
Berks County Commissioner, Mark C. Scott, said the facility has been government run for approximately 15 years. In fact, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has an office on-site. ICE spokesperson, Sarah Maxwell, said that the facility operates in an open environment, and provides medical care, educational programs, social services and access to legal support.
In response to requests for the facility to be shut down, Deputy Secretary of Administration, Jay Bausch, wrote a letter stating that the facility is in compliance with its license and operates as a non-secure facility. Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin will continue to monitor the situation at this Pennsylvania facility.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin Advocate for Immigrants and Their Families
If you or a loved one is facing an immigration issue, the Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin have extensive experience in all areas of immigration law. Our skilled team of immigration lawyers in Philadelphia will ensure that you receive the quality legal representation you deserve. Our offices are located in Center City, Philadelphia. Call 215-925-4435 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.